Linux 4.5 AMDGPU/Radeon vs. Catalyst OpenGL Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 27 January 2016 at 10:29 AM EST. Page 1 of 5. 30 Comments.

With the first test release out this week for the Linux 4.5 kernel I have carried out some fresh benchmarks on different AMD Radeon graphics cards for comparing the very latest open-source driver performance against that of the proprietary AMD Linux driver. Here are how the competing AMD OpenGL Linux stacks are comparing to one another for starting off 2016.

On the open-source driver side I was using the Linux 4.5-rc1 kernel with AMDGPU PowerPlay enabled from the kernel spin I made public earlier this week that builds in the AMDGPU PP support and then at boot-time also setting the amdgpu.powerplay=1 when testing the R9 285 and R9 Fury graphics cards on the AMDGPU DRM driver. The Radeon R9 290 and R7 370 in this comparison were tested with the Radeon DRM from Linux 4.5-rc1.

Beyond using the bleeding-edge kernel, Mesa 11.2-devel Git and LLVM SVN were obtained from the Padoka PPA on Ubuntu 15.10 64-bit. DRI3 was also manually enabled via the xorg.conf prior to testing.

On the Catalyst side was using Ubuntu 15.10's stock kernel (Linux 4.2) along with the current fglrx/Catalyst driver currently shipped by 15.10 as fglrx 15.20.3 / OpenGL 4.4.13399.

On the following pages are a variety of OpenGL benchmarks comparing the open vs. closed-source driver performance for the AMD R9 285, R9 290, R7 370, and R9 Fury. All of these OpenGL benchmarks were done in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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